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9.13.2006

In My Country, There Is Problem

US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.

And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident...

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Meanwhile:

In order to pass himself off as a foreigner, Sacha writes his alleged notes in Hebrew, and uses occasional Polish words (Dziękuję thank you, Jak się masz? how are you?, Dzień Dobry good day, Przepraszam sorry) when speaking to people—not using Kazakh or Russian (the state and official languages of Kazakhstan). This has nearly had Borat exposed as a fake in midfilming. He has also lapsed into Hebrew while purporting to sing the Kazakhstani national anthem (in fact a simple reciting of major Kazakhstani cities) at a Savannah Sand Gnats game. In Hebrew, he kept on repeating a famous folk song: קום בחור עצל וצא לעבודה (kum bachur atzel ve'tze la'avoda) [...] קוקוריקו קוקוריקו התרנגול קרא (kookooriku kookooriku ha'tarnegol kara) ("get up lazy guy and go to work [...] cock a doodle do the cock has crowed"), and also called Kazakhstan a "hole" (חור). The hair and mustache are real, and it takes Baron Cohen six weeks to grow them. The suit has never been washed, which may cause him to smell "foreign" to those he encounters, adding to the apparent authenticity of his character.

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